Peppersoup

It is my very firm (and non-professional) opinion that peppersoup cures all ills.

Got a cold? Have some peppersoup.

Feeling down in the dumps and need a pick me up? Have some peppersoup.

Had your heart broken? HAVE SOME PEPPERSOUP.

It is just so delicious and light and medicinal and you can have it any way you want, whether that be with meat, fish or even with just vegetables.

It’s a very popular dish in Nigeria (and other West African countries) and as such most of the ingredients will need to be purchased from an Afro-Caribbean grocery store.

I feel I have to warn you, this soup is very spicy (it says it right in the name) and is not for the faint of heart. So proceed at your own peril! 

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Ingredients used:

  • 600g Goat Meat or Beef, cut into small chunks
  • 1 Large Onion, julienne
  • 200g Closed Cup Button Mushrooms, sliced in half
  • Seasonings
    • 2 Scotch Bonnets, chopped finely
    • 2 tbsp Peppersoup seasoning
    • 2 tbsp Ground Crayfish
    • 1 handful of Dried Scent Leaves, crushed with stems removed
    • 3 seasoning cubes (Maggi/Knorr)
    • 1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
    • 1tsp Ginger Powder
    • ½ tsp Crushed Black Pepper
    • Cooking Salt, to taste

Prep time – 5 mins

Method:

  1. In a bowl, wash the meat in warm water with a dash of vinegar/lemon juice.
  2. Put the meat in a pressure pot, add the onions and season with garlic, ginger and 2 of the seasoning cubes.

Cooking time – 25 mins

Cooking:

  1. Cover the meat with water and bring the pressure cooker to the boil on medium/high heat.
  2. Once the meat starts boiling, close the cooker and cook under pressure for a further 5-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and remove the pressure by releasing the steam.
  4. Transfer the meat and stock to a saucepan and put on low heat.
  5. Add some more water to the pot to cover at least an inch above the meat.
  6. Add the mushrooms, peppersoup seasoning, ground crayfish, dried scent leaves, seasoning cube and black pepper to the pot and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Extra tip: Substitute the meat for catfish and have your whole life changed.

Salmon and Broccoli Bowl

I’ve said this before on a previous post, but I feel led to reiterate it.

I really love meat.

I also really love fish.

Well, not really love, but I do adore a good salmon (see also Cod, Hake and Catfish).

To be honest, I’ve never really experimented with other types of fish, so I have no idea whether I like them or not. (basically I could never be vegetarian/vegan in this life or the next. Disclaimer: I have nothing against them- do what makes you happy innit)

Anyway, due to the vicissitudes of life it had been a while since inspiration hit me kitchen-wise but recently I found myself craving the soft, flaky texture of a good Salmon fillet and after looking at the ingredients I had in my fridge, I knew exactly what to pair it with to satisfy the craving within.

Also, for some very weird reason, I like eating most of my food out of a bowl. My father says it’s the village girl in me, but I think it’s because I am incredibly lazy and hate the formality of eating from a flat plate and using proper cutlery. Ugh.

But I digress. On with the show!

IMG_1517

Ingredients used:

  • Salmon Fillets (I prefer going to a fishmonger than buying fish pre-packed)
  • Basmati Rice (2 cups)
  • Pak Choi (200g pack can be found in most big supermarkets)
  • Tenderstem Broccoli (250g pack)
  • Seasonings
    • Sesame oil – 2tbsp
    • Soy Sauce – 2tbsp
    • Chilli flakes
    • Chinese 5 spice
    • 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
    • Chopped Ginger
    • 1 or 2 Bird Eye Chillies (or regular thin chillies)
    • 1 stock cube (maggi/knorr)
    • 1 Lime
    • 1 knob of butter

Prep time – 10 mins

Method:

  1. In a bowl, place the salmon fillets and season with sesame oil, soy sauce, 1 clove of finely chopped garlic, half the amount of chopped ginger, stock cube, and a dash of chilli flakes and Chinese 5 spice.
  2. Leave the fish to marinate for 5 minutes.
  3. Before cooking, cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice of half a lime onto the fish.
  4. Wrap the individual fillets in foil to create foil parcels and cut the remaining lime half into slices and put on the fillets before closing the parcels.

The purpose of the parcels is to allow the salmon to cook in it’s own juices and to give you something to pour on the rice once ready.

Cooking time – 30 mins

Cooking:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (gas mark 5)
  2. Place the salmon on an oven tray and leave to bake for 15 minutes, checking intermittently.
  3. Wash the rice and put into a saucepan.
  4. Pour 3 cups of boiling water into the saucepan and bring to the boil.
  5. Once the rice starts to boil, lower the heat and cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
  6. Leave the rice to simmer for about 15 minutes then remove from heat and leave to steam in the saucepan for a further 2-3 minutes.
  7. While the rice is cooking, sauté the pak choi, broccoli and chopped up birds eye chillies in the knob of butter and season with the remaining ginger and garlic. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for aesthetics.
  8. Serve the rice with the salmon and sautéed vegetables in a bowl and enjoy!

 

Extra tip: don’t lick your fingers after throwing away the lime slices because baked lime tastes like sorrow.